Skip to main content
×
×
Home

New evidence for the processing of wild cereal grains at Ohalo II, a 23 000-year-old campsite on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Israel

  • Dani Nadel (a1), Dolores R. Piperno (a2) (a3), Irene Holst (a3), Ainit Snir (a4) and Ehud Weiss (a4)...
Extract

Traces of starch found on a large flat stone discovered in the hunter-fisher-gatherer site of Ohalo II famously represent the first identification of Upper Palaeolithic grinding of grasses. Given the importance of this discovery for the use of edible grain, further analyses have now been undertaken. Meticulous sampling combined with good preservation allow the authors to demonstrate that the Ohalo II stone was certainly used for the routine processing of wild cereals, wheat, barley and now oats among them, around 23 000 years ago.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Aranguren, B., Becattini, R., Lippi, M.M. & Revedin, A.. 2007. Grinding flour in Upper Palaeolithic Europe (25000 years bp). Antiquity 81: 845-55.
Bar-Yosef Mayer, D. 2002. The use of mollusc shells by fisher-hunter-gatherers at Ohalo II, in Nadel, D. (ed.) Ohalo II: a 23,000 year-old fisher-huntergatherers' camp on the shore of the Sea of Galilee: 3941. Haifa: Hecht Museum.
Belitzky, S. & Nadel, D.. 2001. Late Pleistocene and recent tectonic deformations at the Ohalo II prehistoric site (19K) and the evolution of the Jordan River outlet from the Sea of Galilee. Geoarchaeology: an international journal 17(5): 453-64.
Belmaker, M., Nadel, D. & Tchernov, E.. 2001. Micromammal taphonomy in the site of Ohalo II (19 ky, Jordan Valley). Archaeofauna 10: 125-35.
Hartmann, A. 2006. Reconstruction of the human vegetarian diet and landscape at Gilgal I-an Early Neolithic site in the Jordan Valley: archaeobotanical research. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Bar-Ilan University.
Henry, A.G. & Piperno, D.. 2008. Using plant microfossils from dental calculus to recover human diet: a case study from Tell al-Raqa'i, Syria. Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 1943-50.
Henry, A.G., Hudson, H.F. & Piperno, D.R.. 2009. Changes in starch grain morphologies from cooking. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 915-22.
Henry, A.G., Brooks, A. & Piperno, D.R.. 2011. Microfossils in calculus demonstrate consumption of plants and cooked foods in Neanderthal diets (Shanidar III, Iraq; Spy I and II, Belgium). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108: 486-91.
Hershkovitz, I., Edelson, G., Spiers, M., Arensburg, B., Nadel, D. & Levi, B.. 1993. Ohalo II man-unusual findings in the anterior rib cage and shoulder girdle of a 19,000 years-old specimen. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 3: 177-88.
Hershkovitz, I., Spiers, M., Frayer, D., Nadel, D., Wish-Baratz, S. & Arensburg, B.. 1995. Ohalo II-a 19,000 years-old skeleton from a water-logged site at the Sea of Galilee. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 96: 215-34.
Kislev, M.E., Nadel, D. & Carmi, I.. 1992. Epipalaeolithic (19,000 BP) cereal and fruit diet at Ohalo II, Sea of Galilee, Israel. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 73: 161-66.
Nadel, D. 2001. Indoor/outdoor flint knapping and minute debitage remains: the evidence from the Ohalo II submerged camp (19.5 ky, Jordan Valley). Lithic Technology 26(2): 118-37.
Nadel, D. 2002 (ed.). Ohalo II-a 23,000 year-old fisherhunter-gatherers' camp on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Haifa: Hecht Museum.
Nadel, D. 2003. A long continuity: the Ohalo II brush huts (19.5 ky) and the dwelling structures in the Natufian and PPNA sites in the Jordan Valley. Archaeology, Anthropology and Ethnology in Euroasia 13(1): 3448.
Nadel, D. 2004. Wild barley harvesting, fishing, and year-round occupation at Ohalo II (19.5 ky, Jordan Valley, Israel), in Le Secrétariat du Congrès (ed.) Section 6: Le Paléolithique Supéerieur/The Upper Palaeolithic. General sessions and posters. Acts of the XIVth UISSP Congress, University of Liège, Belgium, 2-8 September 2001 (British Archaeological Reports international series 1240): 135-43. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Nadel, D. & Hershkovitz, I.. 1991. New subsistence data and human remains from the earliest Levantine Epipalaeolithic. Current Anthropology 32(5): 631-35.
Nadel, D. & Werker, E.. 1999. The oldest ever brush hut plant remains from Ohalo II, Jordan Valley, Israel (19 000 BP). Antiquity 73: 755-64.
Nadel, D., Danin, A., Werker, E., Schick, T., Kislev, M.E. & Stewart, K.. 1994. 19,000 years-old twisted fibers from Ohalo II. Current Anthropology 35(4): 451-58.
Nadel, D., Carmi, I. & Segal, D.. 1995. Radiocarbon dating of Ohalo II: archaeological and methodological implications. Journal of Archaeological Science 22(6): 811-22.
Nadel, D., Weiss, E., Simchoni, O., Tsatskin, A., Danin, A. & Kislev, M.E.. 2004a. Stone Age hut in Israel yields world's oldest evidence of bedding. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 101(17): 6821-26.
Nadel, D., Tsatskin, A., Belmaker, M., Boaretto, E., Kislev, M.E., Mienis, H., Rabinovich, R., Simchoni, O., Simmons, T., Weiss, E. & Zohar, I.. 2004b. On the shore of a fluctuating lake: environmental evidence from Ohalo II (19,500 BP). Israel Journal of Earth Science 53: 207-23.
Nadel, D., Grinberg, U., Boaretto, E. & Werker, E.. 2006. Wooden objects from Ohalo II (23,000 cal BP), Jordan Valley, Israel. Journal of Human Evolution 50(6): 644-62.
Piperno, D.R., Weiss, E., Holst, I. & Nadel, D.. 2004. Processing of wild cereal grains in the Upper Palaeolithic revealed by starch grain analysis. Nature 430: 670-73.
Rabinovich, R. & Nadel, D.. 19941995. Bone tools from Ohalo II-a morphological and functional study. Mitekufat Haeven, Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 26: 3262.
Rabinovich, R. & Nadel, D.. 2005. Broken mammal bones: taphonomy and food sharing at the Ohalo II submerged prehistoric camp, in Buitenhuis, H., Choyke, A.M., L.Martin, Bartosiewicz, L. & Mashkour, M. (ed.) Archaeozoology of the Near East VI. Proceedings of the sixth international symposium on the archaeozoology of southwestern Asia and adjacent areas (ARC Publications 123): 3450. Groningen: ARC-Publications.
Revedin, A., Aranguren, B., Becattini, R., Longo, L., Marconi, E., Lippi, M.M., Skakun, N., Sinitsyn, A., Spiridonova, E. & Svoboda, J.R.. 2010. Thirty thousand-year-old evidence of plant food processing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 107: 18815-19.
Simchoni, O. 1997. Reconstruction of the landscape and human economy 19,000 BP in the Upper Jordan Valley by the botanical remains found at Ohalo II. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan (in Hebrew).
Simmons, T. & Nadel, D.. 1998. The avifauna of the early Epipalaeolithic site of Ohalo II (19,400 BP), Israel: species diversity, habitat and seasonality. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 8: 7996.
Tsatskin, A. & Nadel, D.. 2003. Formation processes at the Ohalo II submerged prehistoric campsite, Israel, deduced from soil micromorphology and magnetic susceptibility studies. Geoarchaeology 18(4): 409-32.
Villaret-Von Rochov, M. 1971 Avena ludoviciana Dur. im Schweizer Spätneolithikum, ein Beitrag zur Abstammung des Saathafers. Berichte der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft 84(5): 243-48.
Weiss, E. 2002. Issues in reconstruction the human economy and society of the Epipalaeolithic site Ohalo II inhabitants by the macrofossil botanical remains. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan.
Weiss, E., Wetterstrom, W., Nadel, D. & Bar-Yosef, O.. 2004a. The broad spectrum revisited: evidence from plant remains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 101(26): 9551-55.
Weiss, E., Kislev, M.E., Simchoni, O. & Nadel, D.. 2004b. Small-grained wild grasses as staple food at the 23,000 year-old site of Ohalo II, Israel. Economic Botany 588 (supplement): S125-34.
Weiss, E., Kislev, M.E. & Hartman, A.. 2006. Autonomous cultivation before domestication. Science 312(5780): 1608-10.
Weiss, E., Kislev, M.E., Simchoni, O., Nadel, D. & Tschauner, H.. 2008. Plant-food preparation area on an Upper Paleolithic brush hut floor at Ohalo II, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 2400-14.
Willerding, U. 1970. Vor- und frühgeschichtliche Kulturpflanzen in Mitteleuropa. Neue Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in Niedersachsen 5: 287375.
Zohar, I. 2002. Fish and fishing at Ohalo II, in Nadel, D. (ed.) Ohalo II, a 23, 000 year-old fisher-hunter-gatherers' camp on the shore of the Sea of Galilee: 2831. Haifa: Hecht Museum.
Zohary, D., Hopf, M. & Weiss, E.. 2012. Domestication of plants in the Old World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed